Statement by Japan, Delivered by H.E. Ambassador Koro Bessho, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, at the Informal Meeting of the General Assembly, Fourth IGN meeting

(As delivered)
Thank you, Co-Chairs.

Japan aligns itself with the statement delivered by my colleague Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin of India on behalf of the G4. Let me make two points in my national capacity.

First, while we appreciate your tireless efforts, Japan is disappointed that no new revised paper has been presented, even though a clear majority of the Member States in this room wish to have one. Our discussions in this session will be for naught if they are not reflected in a paper for us to consider. Because no paper has yet been presented, it is even more necessary that we schedule further meetings to allow for enough time to discuss the revised document. We cannot discard the voices of most of the Membership. We believe we need at least two meetings to discuss the revised document. Otherwise, we will find it difficult to say that any substantive progress has been made. Japan stands ready to negotiate through June and beyond.

Second, our Indian colleague outlined our proposal on the revisions to the last year’s document. Japan emphasizes the following six suggestions be included in this revised document:
  1. While we seek the broadest possible support, there is no mandate for consensus in this process. To make this point clearer, we propose to add, under the Commonalities section, a reference to resolution 53/30.
  2. We find overwhelming support for the African aspiration to be properly represented on the Security Council. We wish to add, under the Commonalities section, this element as well to address the historical injustice to Africa.
  3. We should take note of the fact that an overwhelming majority of Member States call for text-based negotiations. In the section on issues for further consideration, we propose adding: “An overwhelming majority of Member States support text-based negotiations, as reflected in A/72/510.”
  4. We, along with most Member States, wish to see proper attribution in the text so as to clearly identify who owns which proposal and ensure proper reflection of the Common African Position. Thus, we propose that, under issues for further consideration/ negotiation on the question of regional representation, we include who proposed new/additional permanent seats, specifically the African Group, CARICOM, L69, and G4.
Some delegations say that having attribution would fix their positions and jeopardize our discussions. But this is what we usually do here in the UN. When we have different views, we find convergence by putting our views into text with attribution and negotiate based on the text. What reason could be there to oppose such ordinary procedure?
  1. We strongly request that the structure of the text be modified. We currently have five clusters under the “Commonalities” section and another five under the “Issues for Further Consideration /Negotiation” section. We advocate these two sections should be combined to form five clusters under a single heading of “Commonalities and Issues for Further Consideration /Negotiation.”
  2. Japan can support the proposal by the African group to have their full common position annexed to the paper we are working on.

It is my delegation’s sincere hope that you will take these suggestions, both on preparing a revised paper and on its contents, and deliver to the Membership a revised paper at the earliest possible date, which I believe you have promised us today, along with a proposed schedule for further meetings this session at which we can discuss it. Otherwise, another year will have passed with no tangible progress, which would call into question the viability of the IGN process and the ability of Member States to move forward.

I thank you.